One may say it’s harder to work from a blank canvas but Melanie De Biasio’s version of ‘I’m Gonna Leave You’ yields tones and imagery worlds apart from the original by Nina Simone. It’s taken from her immense album, No Deal, which features seven tracks of disjointed jazz and moody, classical blues. A complete and accomplished debut, it is unquestionably one of our stand-out long players of the year.
With I’m Gonna Leave You, the Belgian-born singer conjures a lasting moment as the listener gains an insight into harboured feelings, erupting as gently as her simple yet enigmatic vocals drifting throughout the track. The stripped down ensemble and perceptive composition give space for personality of her voices, while rolling drums and dark, modal piano chords maintain its darkened textures. As clear a message it is, we don’t mind her hammering home that simple refrain, again and again.